Intergroup dialogue is one specific approach to intergroup communication. Throughout the entire intergroup dialogue experience, participants are presented with opportunities for engaging in “a new kind of communication…one that is aimed at understanding rather than arguing or attempting to convince each other, and one that connects dialogue to action” (Gurin-Sands et al., 2012, p. 64). Every Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) offering is designed to foster this kind of critical dialogue, enabling participants to explore their own and others’ experiences through listening, sharing, and posing questions about assumptions, perspectives, and broader social structures (Sorensen et al., 2009).
Through IDP, participants practice and improve their intergroup communication skills, specifically those related to active listening and productive conflict (two common outcomes of intergroup dialogue programs; Frantell et al., 2019). Indeed, after practicing dialogic communication, research has found that many participants feel more confident in their ability to engage in communication across difference and more comfortable discussing social identities (DeTurk, 2006). We find that participants in IDP’s programming report similar positive experiences when communicating across differences in perspective and identity, and when having challenging conversations or conflicts.